Home Ministry directs over 1200 NGOs to validate bank accounts immediately
 Source : NewsBharati  Date : 14-Sep-2017

New Delhi, September 14: At least 1222 NGOs across the country have been directed by the home ministry on Wednesday to validate the bank accounts in which they receive foreign contribution and also warned that those NGOs fails to do so will face punitive action. This action is taken with an aim to keep a track record of the foreign funding earned by thousands of NGOs and to monitor the utilization of funds. 

In a circular which was released on Wednesday, the Ministry of Home Affairs said all non-governmental organizations registered under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) should receive foreign donations in a single designated bank account.

The Ministry further said a number of such non-governmental organizations have not validated their foreign contribution designated accounts which are causing problems for the banks to comply with the FCRA provisions.

The Ministry also said these associations are required to validate their foreign designated accounts and also the utilization accounts immediately and send the details. It said non-compliance may lead to penal actions as per FCRA 2010.

Among 1222 NGOs, the list includes Sri Ramakrishna Math, Ramakrishna Mission, Indore Cancer Foundation Charitable Trust, Coimbatore Christian Charitable Trust, Delhi School Of Social Work Society, Hindu Anath Ashram and Madani Darut Tarbiyat, Nirmal Seva Mahila Sanstha, Mother Teresa Charitable Trust etc.

Earlier also, Home Ministry has cancelled FCRA licenses of 20,000 NGOs after they were found to be allegedly violating various provisions of the FCRA, thus barring them from receiving foreign funds. Interestingly, among the 13,000 valid NGOs, around 3,000 have submitted applications for renewal while Home Ministry received 2,000 new applications for registration under the FCRA for the first time. An additional 300 NGOs are currently under prior permission category but not registered under the FCRA.

However, FCRA licenses of around 16 NGOs were renewed by the Home Ministry under the "automatic" route and all the cases were reviewed thoroughly and except in two cases, 14 NGOs have been put under the prior permission category while papers of the two NGOs are under examination.

As per FCRA, if an NGO is put under prior permission category, it is barred to receive foreign funding from abroad without taking permission from the Home Ministry. A Home Ministry official revealed that around 33,000 NGOs registered under the FCRA, 27,000 were due for renewal this year. Of these 27,000 NGOs, around 19,000 NGOs have submitted applications for renewal under the FCRA.

And of the 19,000 NGOs, FCRA licenses of 15,500 NGOs were renewed. Among the total 27,000 NGOs, 8,000 have time till February for renewal of their licenses under FCRA. The official said just FCRA licenses of just 222 NGOs were cancelled in recent past.